Leonard Cohen in Toronto (feat. Ron Sexsmith, etc.)

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BlueChair
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Leonard Cohen in Toronto (feat. Ron Sexsmith, etc.)

Postby BlueChair » Sat May 13, 2006 7:28 pm

I figured this deserved its own post.

Leonard Cohen is an icon. Which is why today was a pretty amazing day for Red and I. A few weeks ago we heard that Cohen and his girlfriend and collaborator Anjani Thomas were going to be doing an in-store appearance at the local Indigo Books & Music (Canada's equivelent to Barnes & Noble). Considering this particular Indigo is down the street from where we live, we knew we were going to go.

Earlier this week we discovered that not only was it going to be an in-store, they were going to close off a block of traffic, set up an outdoor stage, and feature musical performances by Barenaked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith and Anjani.

The coolness began at about 11:30 AM, when Red and I decided to go get a few groceries and stumbled upon Anjani doing her soundcheck. We soon realized that Leonard Cohen was also standing on the stage, singing along with Anjani. We stuck around in awe, along with about twenty passers by who were also in awe. In fact, it was fun watching people walk by and realize what exactly was going on.

The event was at 3:45, and by the time we returned there were tons of people standing and waiting for a glimpse of one of Canada's proudest sons.

Ron Sexsmith took the stage with a few of the Barenaked Ladies and sang... I think it was "Heart With No Companion," but it wasn't a song I was familiar with.

Here's a pic of Ron doing that song:

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Then Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies sang a comical rendition of "Sisters of Mercy" (comical because his voice was NOT suited for the song).

Then Leonard Cohen came out and read one of his poem's, probably from his new book of poetry, Book of Longing.


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He then introduced Anjani came out to do a few songs. Her stuff is really good, she has a new album called Blue Alert.

For the last of her songs, Leonard came out and joined her on backing vocals.

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We thought it was over then, but just as it started to drizzle, Ron Sexsmith, the Barenaked Ladies, Leonard and Anjani came out to do a song. The song was "So Long, Marianne." It started out with Ron singing and Anjani encouraging Leonard to get closer to the mic.

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Eventually he started singing along, before Ron stopped so that everyone could hear Leonard on his own. It took a bit of encouragement, but Leonard got really into it before long, and it was one of the most magical things I'd ever seen.

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Then the ensemble did "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye"

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It was just a great thing to be a part of in the middle of the downtown core on a Saturday afternoon. And considering Cohen's last tour was in 1993 and considering he has no plans to tour ever again, it was pretty awesome.
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pophead2k
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Postby pophead2k » Sat May 13, 2006 10:05 pm

Absolutely fantastic! Thanks for the great pics. What a cool experience.

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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun May 14, 2006 3:48 am

What an incredible thing to witness in your local bookstore. And Anjani appears to have named her LP in your honour.
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Postby little martinet » Sun May 14, 2006 8:27 am

All I can say is...wow!! Lucky!

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Postby Boy With A Problem » Fri May 19, 2006 4:17 pm

That's a very cool thing. Leonard is on the cover of Word magazine this month and he's getting a big shout out from the man who might be king -

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060519/music_nm/cohen_dc_2


LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Charles, mocked by critics for being prone to gloomy introspection, has revealed that one of his favorite singers is Leonard Cohen.

"It's terrific stuff," said the heir to the throne, waxing lyrical about the reclusive Canadian poet and troubadour who became known as the "Poet Laureate of Pessimism."

Charles, 57, gave a glimpse into his musical tastes in a television interview with his sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his Prince's Trust, a charity he set up to help disadvantaged youngsters.

It sharply underlined the generation gap between the "philosopher prince" who puzzles with much angst over the meaning of life and his young sons who enjoy hip-hop and rap.

When Charles confessed that Cohen was one of his favorite singers, William asked "Is he a jazz player?"

Describing Cohen as a wonderful chap, Charles said: "He's remarkable. The orchestration is fantastic and the words, the lyrics and everything. He is a remarkable man and he has this incredibly laid-back, gravelly voice."

Cohen was renowned at the height of his fame for wearing black clothes and singing his gloom-laden classics like "Suzanne" and "Bird on a Wire" in a deep monotone.

Critics quipped that his records should have been distributed with free razor blades.

Hello Magazine royal correspondent Judy Wade said: "Cohen is the perfect choice for a man who is so inward-looking. Charles is pessimistic like Cohen. He probably finds him a kindred spirit."

"I am surprised he knows anything about Leonard Cohen. I thought he only listened to classical music," she told Reuters.

Royal biographer Penny Junor agreed it was the perfect choice. "It sums him up," she told Reuters.

"It is an amusing choice. If one had to play those games where you matched someone with someone, this is the perfect choice for an introspective and self-pitying individual. It is almost as if he has just caught up with the Sixties."

And Cohen could certainly do with a celebrity endorsement right now.

The 71-year-old singer recently won a $9 million law suit against Kelly Lynch, his one-time lover and manager of nearly 17 years, whom Cohen says skimmed more than $5 million of his savings over eight years, leaving him only $150,000 to retire on.
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:24 pm

http://fuelfriends.blogspot.com/2006/09 ... f-ray.html

So Long Marianne, very nice. Cohen sounds fabulous.

Guilty confession: never knew Heart With No Companion, known to me from Ron S's first LP, was a Cohen song. RS played it tonight, lovely. It sounds so Cohenish, just never realised.
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Postby BlueChair » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:43 am

Thank you for reminding me of this. What an amazing experience. I've seen a lot of good shows in 2006, but this was probably the best overall experience - even if Leonard only sang on three songs!
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Postby BlueChair » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:08 am

Sony/Legacy has announced plans to remaster the entire Leonard Cohen catalogue, beginning with The Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs From a Room and Songs of Love and Hate. Each will feature bonus tracks and newly written liner notes and come out on March 27.

Along with Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and The Beatles, Cohen is one of the few artists whose existing CD releases sound pretty sub-par - so it'll be nice to have them spruced up.
Last edited by BlueChair on Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pophead2k » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:35 pm

I cannot wait for this! If they can get these sounding as good as Dylan's recent round of SACD reissues, it would be amazing.

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Postby BlueChair » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:45 pm

pophead2k wrote:I cannot wait for this! If they can get these sounding as good as Dylan's recent round of SACD reissues, it would be amazing.


Which begs the question: when are they going to get around to the rest of those? I think they decided to scrap the SACD program, but the regular remasters of Bob Dylan and Times They Are A-Changin' still sounded pretty good... would love to hear a similar treatment on the rest, especially New Morning
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Postby miss buenos aires » Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:33 pm

BlueChair wrote:Sony/Legacy has announced plans to remaster the entire Leonard Cohen catalogue, beginning with The Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs From a Room and Songs of Love and Hate. Each will feature bonus tracks and newly written liner notes and come out on March 27.


So if anyone was wondering what to get me for my birthday...

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Postby BlueChair » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:46 am

Billboard has more info on the Cohen reissues:

January 10, 2007, 4:30 PM ET

Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Several previously unreleased tracks have been unearthed for Columbia/Legacy's reissue series of Leonard Cohen's first three albums, due April 24.

"Songs of Leonard Cohen" sports two tracks from sessions with Columbia's legendary A&R man John Hammond in the summer of 1967 that were never completed: "Store Room" and "Blessed Is the Memory."

The 1968 follow-up, "Songs From a Room" features the evergreen "Bird on a Wire," an early version of which appears here as "Like a Bird" with different instrumentation. That song, as well as an early take on "You Know Who I Am" dubbed "Nothing to One" that features harmony vocals by David Crosby, were recorded in Hollywood. "Songs From a Room" wound up being put to tape in Nashville.

"Songs of Love and Hate," released in 1971, is expanded with a full-band arrangement of "Dress Rehearsal Rag" that sounds quite different from the version on the original.

On the same date, Columbia/Legacy is re-releasing "Blue Alert," an album sung by Anjani Thomas and featuring songs she co-wrote with Cohen, who does not appear as an artist. The new version features a DVD with videos for "Thanks for the Dance" and "The Mist."
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